Edit: TL;Dr at the bottom.
We’ve seen a lot of recent traffic coming onto the app, which is very good, in my opinion. A lot of it can be toxic, yes, but in my opinion, well, that’s just what comes with being on social media. Every little nook of the internet can’t be a safe space for everyone, but at the same time, some “humor” can be going a little overboard, but that’s beside the point. Increased traffic will always have its own naysayers and influx of toxic people, but you know what they say “any publicity is good publicity.”
On that note, I think a few things should be altered regarding the UI. Cleaning up the UI in a more digestible way could be grounds to make content, at least, more digestible, and one problem in particular that I find is a big annoyance is the fact that captions & descriptions are overlayed on top of the video, as one entity, rather than separate entities. I think that’s one of the biggest gripes I have with the UI – something simple as this could clean up a fair amount of confusion people have when trying to process what’s going on in a Byte: put the description / caption below the video.
On top of that? I think a lot of people would like some sort of “search” function – not just for users, but for videos in general. Something to search not just tags, but titles, descriptions, and keywords, with a UI similar to that of YouTube. And, dare I say it, TikTok, has that feature as well. Altering user interface to be more search-friendly (as well as recommendation-friendly) to digest content, short-form or long-form, is crucial to user retention, at least in my opinion. We see a lot of people complaining that the app is confusing and hard to use – it’s honestly really easy to get your video lost in the sea of other videos, so making amends to the searchability of Bytes would do volumes.
I think we can see recent traffic as a sort of chance to try and make sure people that come onto the app are here to stay, and whether or not the changes to the app are actually letting users stick, rather than find entertainment elsewhere. Imo, a few UI small UI changes – searchability, something akin to, winces TikTok’s discover page, or YouTube’s homepage or search pages – would be great for letting users stick and continue to use the app. Everything, especially to new users, feels cluttered and all over the place – which makes it so people who upload content, good or bad, tend to get buried underneath everything else. That, and something as simple as putting the description beneath the video instead of on top of it, especially when a lot of these new users dump text on every single corner of their Byte, makes it really overwhelming, on top of adding hashtags with everything else.
The app does a good job promoting who’s ahead already, but doesn’t do such a great of a job promoting everyone else who’s trying to find their footing in it.
Edit: Oh, and also, I know people have been talking about it for about 7 months now, but DMs. That’s something people really need, especially new users, who want some form of easy communication (and being able to form groups). These kinds of things should be done in-app to promote retention, not out-of-app. The more time spent, the more time people will stick. A lot of people also seem to be obsessed with follower count – do with that what you will. Anything to make sure user retention goes up is a bullish case.
Edit 2: Remembering some old recommendations that I still want from a few months ago that haven’t been implemented yet, gonna throw them in here again. Heck, I’ll just make a big TLDR List:
Tl;dr: UI and Feature Changes That Could be Great for User Retention, In My Opinion:
- Changes to searchability, having a “search” page akin to YouTube’s search and home pages or, dare I say, TikTok’s search pages. Being able to search Bytes by keywords, not just by hashtags. This is my biggest one.
- Move the description of the videos below the videos, not on top of them. Cleans up a fair amount of the clutter, especially when there’s text in the video itself. This is my second biggest one.
- DMs. A feature we’ve needed for a long time. Communication shouldn’t need to happen outside-of-app, keeping everything in-app increases time spent on the app.
- Liking comments. We’ve been saying this for a while.
- Collapsible threads, cleaning up comment section clutter. Not just one comment after another – a comment section similar to YouTube, where we can like comments and they’re ranked, or a comment section similar to Reddit, where they’re both ranked and collapsible, would be great for users.
- Follower count (others want this? It’s on essentially every social media platform, no reason to not have it if people want it, I guess. All the more reason to increase user retention).